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MAN OF STEEL Post-Release

post #1 of 4665
Thread Starter 

I came out pretty underwhelmed by it, and it's sinking in my estimation the more I think about it. There's a 20 minute opening on Krypton that's completely pointless (and the bastard child of the STAR WARS prequels and AVATAR), and there's only so much "Kryptonian flies into Kryptonian and crashes into building" that one can take before it's completely stale.

Cavill's fine, but he isn't actually given much to do.

I'm bothered by the fact Superman is never given a really heroic moment. His big reveal to humanity is to surrender to Zod. So basically, the first anybody on the planet sees him in the classic costume is when he's getting slapped in handcuffs. Absolutely nothing here compares to Routh's saving of the plane in SUPERMAN RETURNS. (Considering the inevitable collateral damage from his battle with Zod, I have trouble seeing people looking at Superman as a hero after this flick. They'd be terrified of him.)

Lane and especially Costner are aces. Crowe does well, but his role is pretty silly ("I'm dead but still a totally sentient conscience"). The film can be summed up rather easily as needing more Kansas and less Krypton.

People joke about the overuse of lifts in RETURNS, but this movie could just as easily be titled SUPERMAN FLIES INTO STUFF.

post #2 of 4665

Yeah.  Underwhelmed would be a bit strong for me, but I just found this to be pretty solid as a setup for a potentially better sequel.

 

I really dug the back and forth between the past and present and wished that more of the tedious climactic finale had continued using that device to mix things up.

 

I liked Cavill quite a bit and I thought he did great with what was given.  But the writing was lacking.  It sets up interesting ideas, but makes the same mistakes that The Matrix Revolutions did by just bringing it all down to BIG FLYING PUNCHY FIGHTS that got tedious for me very quickly.

 

Chalk it up to me growing up on Dragonball where that shit happened all the time.  Seeing it in live-action isn't even a big deal, since it's all animation anyway.  And these sequences aren't anywhere inventive and varied enough to maintain how long they go on.  It's a lot of the same thing over and over.  If you've been waiting your whole life to see that, congratulations.  You'll get your wish.

 

At least with the Super Burly Brawl of Revolutions, the tedious pointlessness of the Neo/Smith fight was the point.  It was a fight that wouldn't end until Neo gave up.

 

Supes vs Zod doesn't have that.  There is no sense of progression about who is winning or how one will eventually win.  It comes down to the movie contriving a situation to force it to an end.  And while that moment got a big reaction from the audience, I have very mixed feelings about it.  (Devin covers some of that in his review).

 

This is gonna get into some raw territory... but The Avengers handled the destruction of a city much better.  Obviously, it was a much lighter film tonally.  But within all the relentless destruction, there were a variety of beats.  It obviously had the advantage of a team of superheroes that did their business in various ways.  It had the room to be more inventive.  And the point of the thing was to show all these characters working together.  It's a long sequence, but that stuff helps push it through.

 

 

About Snyder's stylistic choices:

Since he seems to have curbed his jones for speed-ramping completely for this movie, it's as if he needed to get his rocks off another way.  And that way is SERVO ZOOMS.  Servo zooms constantly.  Smashing into any establishing shot!  Often 2 times in one shot!

 

It's weird. 

 

And being a lover of slow-motion photography, I've never minded the speed-ramping itself.  It was that it was used so arbitrarily in Snyder's previous films.

 

I think some VERY judicious use of slow-motion would've helped to vary the sense of pace and impact during all the smashy-smashy action.  As it is now, it's just so unrelenting and manic in its desperation to show has fast and powerful these characters are.  But dammit... use ALL the tools at your disposal! 

 

I remember thinking that Joe Johnston used speed-ramping really well in Captain America to show off Cap's abilities. 


Edited by mcnooj82 - 6/11/13 at 12:54pm
post #3 of 4665

I forgot to give the movie major points for the way it handles the Lois Lane character.  It totally fulfilled the expectations set when Amy Adams was cast.  She's great and the movie makes the character feel vital.

post #4 of 4665

There were some odd things about the movie.  Superman's solution for everything was just to fly into it.  Giant planet terraforming machine?  I'll fly through it.  Zod beating on my mom?  I'll fly him through a few buildings.  

 

Also, if it didn't matter if Superman was alive or dead for Zod to extract the Codex, while wouldn't Zod just ask Superman to give him some DNA and then go terraform another planet? There were thousands of outposts.  It seems stupid to insist on terraforming Earth when there was so much resistance.  Being the last of your species, getting repopulated would be your primary goal.  Where the repopulation happens wouldn't matter so much, at least in the beginning.  

 

Overall, though, the movie was still enjoyable.  It was interesting seeing Clark develop into Superman.  It was also cool to see him be more self conscious about how powerful he was throughout the movie, like with the handcuffs, and at the end when he said he would help the country, but only on his terms.    That's a confident, bad ass version of Superman that makes him more than just a boy scout.  

post #5 of 4665

The movie uses the trope of a half-breed having to choose between his two homes.  But the movie doesn't go all the way with it.  Such themes are spouted by characters, but when it comes down to it... there wasn't enough build-up to dramatize those choices.

 

Post-release, but I'm still giving fair warning...

 

 

 

 

I want to talk about the way Zod is eventually defeated and how Superman reacts to it.  In his first time out at superheroics, Superman full on murders Zod by breaking his neck.  That sets an interesting precedent for a character who is generally seen as a boy-scout.  I wonder if Nolan and Goyer did this very intentionally for the specific end game of changing that boy-scout perception.  But ignoring the possibility that this will be dealt with in a sequel, I think the film drops the ball in terms of dealing with it now.

 

That big mournful scream in the trailers was right after he killed Zod.  And that reaction, clearly meant to indicate how painful it was for him to destroy the only other Kryptonian left in the universe (to his knowledge), felt out of line with what little the film set that up.  There wasn't enough sense of Superman holding back to give Zod a chance to change his tune.  They just flew around smashing into building after building completely reducing Metropolis to dust.

 

For a movie that openly tries to deal with the way our world would react to the existence of Superman and our acceptance of him as a friend, it's really nonchalant about the insane amount of catastrophic death and damage his presence has caused.  And yet the movie is so keen on establishing the Clark Kent: Reporter persona at the end that it's almost as if the world (and the movie) completely forgot about the state of Metropolis is left in.  And this is a movie that blatantly states how Clark is someone who is compelled to help people in danger (stated outright by Lois).  And yet, there is VERY little sense of that compulsion when it comes to the insane amount of collateral damage during the finale. 

 

This happening so soon after Star Trek Into Darkness also treated the utter demolition of a city so brazenly... I'm getting pretty worn out by it.

 

Seriously... the amount of destruction (I can only come up with so many synonyms for this...) is ridiculous to the point that some of my friends (who really enjoyed the movie) were seriously worried that we'd get another instance of time-traveling reset-button!  I didn't consider that myself specifically, but I did wonder if there would be some kind of stupid Kryptonian building rebuilder to help rebuild Metropolis.

 

With the way the movie disregards the damage done, it might as well have.


Edited by mcnooj82 - 6/11/13 at 12:53pm
post #6 of 4665

So, how is Michael Shannon? I've been hesitant to ask because he's a favorite around these parts, but I've been worried that he was going to be the weak link in the cast.

 

I just don't see him as a Zod type character.

post #7 of 4665

I have no baggage with the Zod character.

 

I thought Michael Shannon was fun.  He chews that scenery, but he also gets to play one of those villains who truly believes what he is doing is right.

 

But all that said, I think it's still the script that doesn't give him enough to do aside from BE THE BAD GUY.  Or maybe Shannon's performance is a little one-note?

post #8 of 4665
Does Chris Meloni get to shout?
post #9 of 4665

I assume he shouts something during battles.  But it's not a performance that struck me as 'shouty.'

 

I actually really liked Meloni in the movie.  He has a bit of an arc/rivalry with one of the Kryptonians. 

 

Also, when I was talking about the movie with friends afterwards, I kept referring to him as Elias Koteas.

post #10 of 4665
Quote:
This is gonna get into some raw territory... but The Avengers handled the destruction of a city much better.  Obviously, it was a much lighter film tonally.  But within all the relentless destruction, there were a variety of beats.  It obviously had the advantage of a team of superheroes that did their business in various ways.  It had the room to be more inventive.  And the point of the thing was to show all these characters working together.  It's a long sequence, but that stuff helps push it through.

Yeah...no. Just no, Mr. Mc"I hate Nolan so much I want to kill myself"nooj

 

My problem with The Avengers (and plenty of other similar films) is there's no real weight despite the fact that it's an enemy invasion attacking U.S. soil. It should be a big deal considering that people are clearly dying, yet The Avengers is so lighthearted, so breezy, none of it really mattered at all.

 

I thought Man of Steel absolutely nailed just how dire and, seemingly, helpless the situation was. People are clearly, violently, dying and that moment with Laurence Fishburne trying to save that employee was absolutely fantastic (and a moment of great acting as well). Yeah, it definitely did get a bit out of hand as that fight dragged on, as it's so weird that Lois Lane goes back to work even though Metropolis is basically leveled by the end of the movie; but even so, I was fairly enthralled throughout those action films. They hit hard in a way that I've always wanted a superhero film to--you could really feel those Kryptonians pummel each other. Basically, this is the Dragon Ball film I've always wanted.

 

On the rest of the film: I really liked it--more than I thought I would. I do agree that the script runs into the same problems that TDKR did, but the performances are great across the board and Cavill is a pretty good Superman.

post #11 of 4665
Thread Starter 

Wait, so THE AVENGERS' finale doesn't work because it's too light, but MAN OF STEEL's finale does because it has "weight"?  Even though in THE AVENGERS they're actively trying to help people on the ground and dealing with the ramifications of what's happening and in MAN OF STEEL Superman is actively causing so much of the destruction and pressing on with more?
 

Why is the final fight of this movie even in Metropolis?  Once Superman disabled the stupid laser thing, there's no reason he should have kept that fight in a populated area.  All Zod wanted to do was kill him.

post #12 of 4665
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post
All Zod wanted to do was kill him.

 

"...please let me kill your Superman?...please...?"

 

"FOR GOD'S SAKE, LET THE BOY KILL SUPERMAN"

 

post #13 of 4665
Yeah, but Avengers wasn't going for weighty. The tone just doesn't ask for that. It was just concerned with being a romp, really... with some lip service to the direness of the situation. People use the Saturday morning cartoon aspect of it as some dig at the movie, but I see it as a strength.

Now, that comes with its own problems, I agree. But lack of engagement wasn't a problem for me due to the variety of action beats, the fun ensemble, and the thrill of seeing the Avengers work together. And hey, they at least make an attempt to get people to safety.

Man of Steel REALLY wants to be weighty. Almost everything about it screams it. It actively does not want to be seen as a lark. The dialogue, the themes it attempts to tackle, the cinematography, the score... And I'll give it the points for ambition, but that reach for weightiness does not come cheap.

Like, I completely understand why the final moments of Supes suddenly feeling pressure to save one family after disregarding thousands of others is normally an acceptable dramatic convention. But this movie really stretched my engagement of that convention.

In the end, that moment had enough intimacy to work well enough for me in the moment. But the movie didn't make enough of an effort outside of that moment to make it work beyond that. It raised all sorts of questions that this movie doesn't bother to deal with. Considering what the producer of the film said about not attaching some post-credit Easter Egg to avoid being seen as a commercial for a sequel... shouldn't this film have done a more thorough job in dealing with the ideas and themes it set up?
post #14 of 4665
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post

  All Zod wanted to do was kill him.

And you know...kill everyone else on the planet. Dude was kind of pissed about the whole "rest of his people dying" and stuff.

 

 

Quote:
Wait, so THE AVENGERS' finale doesn't work because it's too light, but MAN OF STEEL's finale does because it has "weight"?

Yup.

post #15 of 4665
Thread Starter 

Zod's only motivation once his ship crashes is to kill Kal-El.  He doesn't care about anything else, and doesn't start targeting civilians until he's already lost the fight.  Superman could take the fight to space or take the fight to the Arctic and it'd make no difference to Zod whatsoever.

 

Sorry, am I thinking too much?

 

This is also a film where we see that each of Superman's cells contains a Kryptonian child.

post #16 of 4665
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post

Wait, so THE AVENGERS' finale doesn't work because it's too light, but MAN OF STEEL's finale does because it has "weight"?  Even though in THE AVENGERS they're actively trying to help people on the ground and dealing with the ramifications of what's happening and in MAN OF STEEL Superman is actively causing so much of the destruction and pressing on with more?

 
Why is the final fight of this movie even in Metropolis?  Once Superman disabled the stupid laser thing, there's no reason he should have kept that fight in a populated area.  All Zod wanted to do was kill him.

It is in fact Superman who is the first to draw collateral damage blood too.

To be fair, he does do it in a fit of rage to save his mother. And one could argue that this is the first time he's had to enter super heroics of this scale.

But shouldn't he feel SOME kind of remorse for all the shit he demolishes? That's my real issue.

I suppose Ma Kent does say something along the lines of, "It's just stuff."

That's COLD, Ma Kent!
post #17 of 4665
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

Yeah, but Avengers wasn't going for weighty. The tone just doesn't ask for that. It was just concerned with being a romp, really... with some lip service to the direness of the situation. People use the Saturday morning cartoon aspect of it as some dig at the movie, but I see it as a strength.

Now, that comes with its own problems, I agree. But lack of engagement wasn't a problem for me due to the variety of action beats, the fun ensemble, and the thrill of seeing the Avengers work together. And hey, they at least make an attempt to get people to safety.

Man of Steel REALLY wants to be weighty. Almost everything about it screams it. It actively does not want to be seen as a lark. The dialogue, the themes it attempts to tackle, the cinematography, the score... And I'll give it the points for ambition, but that reach for weightiness does not come cheap.

Like, I completely understand why the final moments of Supes suddenly feeling pressure to save one family after disregarding thousands of others is normally an acceptable dramatic convention. But this movie really stretched my engagement of that convention.

In the end, that moment had enough intimacy to work well enough for me in the moment. But the movie didn't make enough of an effort outside of that moment to make it work beyond that. It raised all sorts of questions that this movie doesn't bother to deal with. Considering what the producer of the film said about not attaching some post-credit Easter Egg to avoid being seen as a commercial for a sequel... shouldn't this film have done a more thorough job in dealing with the ideas and themes it set up?

I don't really mean that as a dig against tone; it's fine that it has a Saturday Morning Cartoon vibe. But walking out of that theater I felt like a lot of that movie felt like a kid just slapping a bunch of action figures around...it felt weightless, and I really couldn't connect to anything that was occurring during that final battle in the city. It has a lot more to do with how it was directed as an action film than actual tone. I don't have a problem with "fun."

 

But I just really enjoyed watching MoS unfold, and it did a great job of selling the audience on the fact that it's a bunch of meta-humans going at it--something that I don't think Marvel's films ever managed to do; and again, that has nothing to do with tone.

 

But here's the thing: I actually do see your point, and I do understand that spectacle for the sake of spectacle has become a real problem for these types of films. That said, it just didn't really bother me enough to take me out of the film or hinder my enjoyment of the movie.

post #18 of 4665

Do they handle the Pa Kent stuff well? One of my favourite touches in the 78 film was around the mundanity of Pa Kent's fate, and the associated trauma this has on Supes. It's such a small, everyday moment in Donner's film, quite unlike the big, tragic, emotionally crass moment it could have been.

 

Slightly concerned from what I've read about how Costner is dispatched in this one. Am hoping he isn't taken out by a flying number plate to the forehead or similar, mid-tornado.

post #19 of 4665
Thread Starter 
All he does is monologue about Clark's future, but Costner is really good. His fate is completely over-the-top, though.
post #20 of 4665
Thread Starter 
All he does is monologue about Clark's future, but Costner is really good. His fate is completely over-the-top, though.
post #21 of 4665
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dark Shape View Post

All he does is monologue about Clark's future, but Costner is really good. His fate is completely over-the-top, though.

True, but they sell it enough that it works.

post #22 of 4665
Yeah, I thought that moment was great. It's over the top, but not played up that way.
post #23 of 4665

The discussions about Zod, Kal, death, and destruction are all interesting and valid; after the screening, a number of my fellow critics who all happen to be fans of the character mulled over the film's climactic act of violence and whether or not it really breaks that much from who Superman really is as a hero. In the most literal sense, it deos- he doesn't kill. He goes out of his way not to kill. So murdering Zod is a huge deal, and I suspect that Goyer and Nolan will return to that murder again and again as a plot point, either to emphasize Kal's dedication to his "no killing" credo or to pull him away from it even further. I'm going to guess the former; this is Kal in his salad days, his first jaunt out as Superman. He hasn't yet become the man that we know and revere from the comic books. If they're smart, they're going to use Zod's murder as a recurring point of regret for Kal as he rigidly adheres to his policy of preserving life.

 

That said, the "collateral damage" comments strike me as somewhat disingenuous. Kal doesn't kill, yes, but he does create situations where other people die, and if you need further proof of that, then please read Kingdom Come, a graphic novel that (spoiler warning for those who haven't read it) ends with a nuclear apocalypse that kills countless superheroes- and happens to be a direct result of the actions Kal takes (or won't take, depending on how you look at it) in the rest of the narrative. It's fantastic stuff and perhaps my favorite Superman moment of all time, partly because it's dramatically satisfying and partly because it undercuts his mission to preserve life. While he doesn't kill anyone with his own hands, he is indirectly responsible for the massive loss of life at the story's climax, much as he is responsible for the collateral damage incurred in his battles with Zod.

 

I will echo Nooj's sentiment regarding the Kansas fight: the dude saw his mother in danger and lost it. It's also worth noting that we're watching Kal-el in his fledgling days as Earth's champion, as opposed to the veteran hero seen in, again, titles like Kingdom Come. He's still driven by his belief that all life is worth defending, and he's not a murderer at his core- we see that throughout the flashbacks- but he's also young and undisciplined. Superman doesn't kill, but Kal-el isn't really "Superman" yet, so when his rage leads to the destruction of Smallville's town center, and when his reckless fight against Zod leads to Metropolis being leveled even further, it fits the character within the context of the film. My hope is that, again, the next film touches on the lessons he learned from fighting Zod and we see him grow into the preserver of life we all know and love.

 

Interestingly, I don't think that him murdering Zod is actually against character if you want to treat him as a Jewish superhero (which I'm inclined to for a boatload of reasons). Applying Jewish law to that scenario, he had to kill Zod. He had no other choice. Granted, the film paints him into that corner, but he's perfectly within his rights to take Zod's life to protect the family Zod threatens with his heat vision. That doesn't stop the moment from feeling very, very antithetical to Superman as laid out on the comic book pages, but, frankly, I thought it worked and didn't totally violate Superman's code of ethics. He does give Zod chances to surrender- maybe not in that fight, but in other areas of the film, definitely. I think their brawl should have been broken up with at least one beat where Kal pleads with Zod to stop one last time, but there's enough "you don't have to do this" sentiment thrown around elsewhere that the absence of it in their climactic clash didn't bother me.

 

Overall, I liked Man of Steel. It could have used a good, healthy trimming- it could have been 20 minutes shorter without losing anything- and I think it has no idea what "choice" really means. (Plus, Zod, who believes in eugenics, clearly hasn't had a philosophical and ethical discussion with Faora, who believes in evolution. You'd think that would have come up at one point or another.) But it's ambitious, and I think it meets its own ambitions for the most part; it's bold, it's beautifully shot, and it has massive scale and scope. Not only that, it manages to recycle themes and plot points from Donner's Superman films without actually feeling like it's recycling them; Snyder makes these ideas his own and does his own thing with them, improving on them in some ways (Krypton, Zod's motivation, Russel Crowe being awesome all over the place, etc). That's kind of a feat given how vulturous popular cinema has become of late, and I think the film deserves credit for achieving that goal if nothing else.

 

I will say that as much as I like Amy Adams, and as much as she's good here, she's sort of wasted. Lois Lane is kind of a cipher; we don't really get to know her all that much as a character, and what motivates her to snoop as much as she does. It's nice that even though she's put in damsel in distress scenarios, she's not really a helpless victim- these things happen to her because she's actively asserting herself in situations and trying to help. But it mostly feels like the producers just grabbed a famous, talented actress for the role in the hopes that she could flesh out a thinly-written character. Cavill's also good, and he's obviously in a much more fleshed-out role, but somehow he and Adams manage not to play off each other all that well. There's something missing between them, which I found kind of surprising.

post #24 of 4665
I think there's a fundamental conflict in this movie. It wants to be the fresh cinematic take on the character, but a lot of the storytelling uses the public's general awareness of the character as a crutch at times.

The Lois/Clark romance seems like something that should've been set up here and paid off in a later movie. It didn't feel earned here.

But it's Lois and Superman! They have to kiss now!!!!
post #25 of 4665
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ska Oreo View Post

True, but they sell it enough that it works.

 

It's a really great visual and Costner sells it.  Really just one of those things that you remember after it's over and think, "Wait a second..."

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

I think there's a fundamental conflict in this movie. It wants to be the fresh cinematic take on the character, but a lot of the storytelling uses the public's general awareness of the character as a crutch at times.

 

Definitely.  Someone who walks into this movie without a decent understanding of Superman is going to be lost right after the odd cut from the capsule landing to adult Clark on the fishing boat.  And the film fully expect you to be aware of the Superman/Lois romance and know about Clark's Daily Planet persona.  None of this is really actually established in the movie itself.

post #26 of 4665
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnooj82 View Post

I think there's a fundamental conflict in this movie. It wants to be the fresh cinematic take on the character, but a lot of the storytelling uses the public's general awareness of the character as a crutch at times.

The Lois/Clark romance seems like something that should've been set up here and paid off in a later movie. It didn't feel earned here.

But it's Lois and Superman! They have to kiss now!!!!


This, this, this. It felt really forced. In fact, I'd just flat-out write it off as fan service and leave it at that. They kiss because they're supposed to because they're Lois and Superman. That's the rule. Except that it didn't really fit in the movie at all, and they don't really bond beyond Superman saving Lois' life (which, admittedly, is probably the strongest aphrodisiac in existence). Feels like they could have gotten together in the sequel and it would have played better.

 

Speaking of: why the Daily Planet? Why? I honestly hated, hated, hated the idea that Clark, who has revealed himself to the military and to Lois' co-workers at the Planet, decides that the best way to go incognito is to go work at a place where one person definitely knows his identity and where several others might be able to recognize him through his stupid disguise. Maybe that stuff still works on characters within their own narratives. It doesn't work on audiences anymore, and seeing him go through this decision-making process where he concludes that he's best positioned to help Earth by putting on glasses and starting on as a reporter for the Planet is really frustrating.

post #27 of 4665
It's kinda amazing how cool with Supes the army is in this movie after everything that happened.

At most, they just wanna see where this guy goes in his spare time. But in the aftermath of Metropolis's ruin, he also destroys a pricey satellite (because PRIVACY!!!! which is about as cheap ploy to curry audience favor as is stealing from eeeevil banks in heist movies like NOW YOU SEE ME) and says, "I'M A LIBERTARIAN!!! See ya, suckuzzzz!!" (flies away)

And of all the people to just brush it off with, "Oh Supes, you scamp!!" it's the grumpy Commander Locke from the Matrix sequels!! Hahahah...

But it's all in good fun, because the young soldier is smitten with Cavill's SO HAWTNESS.
post #28 of 4665

Seeing Harry Lennix basically play Lock all over again made me laugh. Hey, like Brian Glover said, you play to your strengths in this game- and Lennix's strength is being a grizzled, iron-jawed military hardass!

 

I didn't even think about the privacy stuff whatsoever. Not in the way that seeing Iron Man 3 made me think about the Boston Marathon bombings, at least. The film doesn't take even a moment to explore that stuff, it just brushes right past it.

post #29 of 4665
post #30 of 4665
Regarding destruction of property; you're going to let things slide for the alien god who is the only defense against hostile alien gods.
post #31 of 4665

You don't know!!!  YOU WEREN'T THERE!!!

 

You're also gonna let things slide when you're crushed by rubble and dead!

post #32 of 4665

Lex Luthor is totally going to be pissed off at Superman in Man of Steel 2 because his cousin was crushed by some rubble.

post #33 of 4665

Lex should be a member of quintuplets.  (I have no idea how to word this... one of quintuplets?  one of 5 quintuplets?  in a quintuplet?)

Mex, Tex, Bex, and Rex all perished when the LexCorp building was destroyed.

post #34 of 4665

It's interesting that the world does indeed seem to "let it slide", speaking to Kal-el's role in the destruction of Metropolis, but realistically I think that the people of Earth would be far more afraid of him given the way that the last act plays out. The sequence really could have used another moment or two where Kal stops his assault on Zod to save innocent lives; as it stands the whole thing plays, but it doesn't have the thematic resonance it needed to be truly successful.

 

Speaking of Lex Luthor, and referencing Kingdom Come again,  I'd be interested in seeing Man of Steel 2 present Luthor as a scheming villain who uses a facade of concern for humanity's sovereignty in a world where Superman exists. Maybe using the Mankind Liberation Front would be a big stretch, but something along those lines could be compelling.

post #35 of 4665
Quote:
Originally Posted by agracru View Post

It's interesting that the world does indeed seem to "let it slide", speaking to Kal-el's role in the destruction of Metropolis, but realistically I think that the people of Earth would be far more afraid of him given the way that the last act plays out.

 

Especially when certain shots of Supes hovering in the air over the military gave me serious Dr. Manhattan vibes.

post #36 of 4665

I didn't get that vibe at the time, but I know what you mean.

 

Going back to the phrase "collateral damage": every time I see it come up, I start thinking of Kingdom Come again. Even with the best intentions, Superman still has moments in his history where people die as a result of his actions and choices.

post #37 of 4665
This was already answered in that Hardee's commercial. Construction workers love the job security that Supes provides. They also get a tasty burger on top of it!
post #38 of 4665

Well, I'm satisfied.

 

(Thanks for the heads up about that!)

 

post #39 of 4665

Just came bock from a midnight showing...I'll bullet point this because its late as hell, but looking forward to in depth discussion:

 

Overall, i think its pretty damn good, but it has some major flaws that hamper it down...pretty much the same deal as "Batman Begins", but just like that film, there's a solid foundation to build a better follow up.

 

The Greatness:

 

-The action and visuals...there's little that can even come close to how amazing both are in this film, and while it does become a bit tiresome, the action scenes and visual spectacle vary enough to make this a homerun in terms of blockbuster filmaking; it may go over the top and fail to match Avengers in terms of balancing action with fantasy, but on sheer scale and visuals, this is hands down the most spectacular film in ages; that alone makes it a must see (no idea how it plays on 3D, though)

-Costner, Lane and Adams, along with the supporting cast really stand out, and give good performances; Costner performance even makes Pa kent's death scene work wonders despite how over the top it is. (I meant the way its filmed/portrayed, not the means of his death, which sadly, may hit close to home for many americans)

-Krypton: Love the whole nods to John Byrne's vision of it, and the whole Flash Gordon meets John Carter on a huge ass budget is fantastic.

-Lois Lane being a damn good reporter...loved that she figures out about Supes before everyone else in the world, and gives her character a lot of weight and credibility; its also a great inversion of the almost cartoony Supes fooling Lois yet again!

-The flashbacks sequences.

 

The Good:

-Cavill's  Superman is pretty much out of the comic book page in terms of attitude and look , and Cavill sells his perfomance; the script gives him little to do as Clark Kent, but thats a fix for a sequel.

-Crowe, Meloni and the actress playing Faora, who is , as Phillip J fry would say, "scarousing" in terms of look and performance.

-Shannon as Zod; sure, he is pretty two dimensional in terms of character, but he pulls it off in terms of menace and evilness; just the right amount of quality acting and cheese.

-The sheer scale of the action onscreen; yeah, its not exactly Golden or Silver age stuff, but i think it helps sell some realism to the movie's universe.

 

The Bad:

-Too little Clark Kent stuff; sure, its needed to set it apart from the typical superhero stuff and the previous movies, but I think it does rob Superman of his humanity, which oddly is the point of it all.

-Its not grim and gritty, as comic fans would day, but still, this movie goes to some dark places for the character its based on...I dont think its a bad thing, actually, but fans of the character might get riled by this.

-they do fumble the "Superman" though; they just throw it out there out of the blue.

 

The Weird:

-This is going to be the most homoerotic thing I've ever typed, but I think a JLA/Avengers movie would make millions just for an scene Hemsworth's Thor vs  Cavill's Superman; itd be the superpowered equivalent of  Vin Diesel vs Dwayne Johnson in  Fast Five.

-I hoped against my better judgment to see Krypto here; make him look like Ghost from Game of Thrones on steroids and it would work! 

-Kinda torn we didnt get to see Fishburne go "Great Ceasar's Ghost!" here.

 

The Comic nerdery/fanboy wishes:

-Im betting the whole "dead kryptonian outposts" thing is either a hint at Braniac or even Doomsday; both would make sense as a Kryptonian hubris project having fatal consequences for its creators.

-Loved the Lexcorp little cameo.

-Id say go with Metallo or Brainiac plus Luthor on the sequel, to avoid another alien threat, then bring it back on full force third time around with Darkseid/Doomsday (Game of Thrones be damned, i cant help think a mocap Charles Dance would be perfect as Darkseid; Kirby based him on Jack Palance, I believe?)

 

As for the twist (pun intended), i think its valid given the movie's characterization and established universe, and it may even pay homage to more modern views of the Superman character; lets face it, the Gran Morrison "All Star Superman" or Garth Ennis take on the character on "Hitman" are my favorite and most accurate depiction of Superman IMO, but they would never work in a live action movie that pushes for some sense of realism; that said, I think Superman killing an enemy who is unrepentant and whose threat to other living beings is in character (see Doomsday, Byrne's take on the evil kryptonians, Morrison's Superman vs Darkseid in Infinite Crisis and even classic Supes pretty much killing the Anti monitor in the original Crisis on Infinite earths). Given how the movie establishing the stakes and Zod's threat level, i just had to go there, and while it fumbles the repercussions a bit and will piss fans of classic Supes, i think it works for this version of the character just fine.

That said, holy fuck, the final Zod vs Superman fight is essentially a PG-13 version of Miracleman vs Kid Miracleman; it doesnt go to the extrema dark places Alan Moore went, but its pretty much a sanitized version of it.

 

So, in conclusion, its flaws keep it from being awesome, but its pretty damn great and a solid place to improve as a franchise; cant wait to see it again.

post #40 of 4665

A review of Man of Steel by Mark Waid (writer of the DC Comics' title The Flash, as well as his scripting of the limited series Kingdom Come and Superman: Birthright, and his work on Marvel Comics' Captain America)

 

http://thrillbent.com/blog/man-of-steel-since-you-asked/

 

Covers issues similar to mine in a much more passionate way. 

 

Quote:
The essential part of Superman that got lost in MAN OF STEEL, the fundamental break in trust between the movie and the audience, is that we don’t just want Superman to save us; we want him to protect us. He was okay at the former, but really, really lousy at the latter. Once he puts on that suit, everyone he bothers to help along the way is pretty much an afterthought, a fly ball he might as well shag since he’s flying past anyway, so what the hell. Where Christopher Reeve won me over with his portrayal was that his Superman clearly cared about everyone. Yes, this Superman cares in the abstract–he is willing to surrender to Zod to spare us–but the vibe I kept getting was that old Charles Schulz line: “I love mankind…it’s people I can’t stand.”
post #41 of 4665

This movie really zipped by.  That was a very quick 2+ hours.  Anyways, I think any experienced Superman comic book reader will love this.  I didn't pick up on any major flaws but the story/origin was very economical, which is fine for people familiar with the story.

 

I thought the first flying scene was fantastic - maybe not quite up to par with the Superman Returns Plane Sequence - but you would be very hard-pressed to find something like that recently.

 

I love the very quick reference to Kelex (even kept the design from the comics) and possible hint at Supergirl (empty pod).

 

Overall, I am very happy I got to see Superman action done as I had always imagined it could be done in movies. 

post #42 of 4665

I can't help but think The Wachowski's would've nailed this movie. 

post #43 of 4665

Add me to the underwhelmed crowd as well. Only Costner, Adams and Crowe really do anything with their characters. Cavill's alright if somewhat bland. I expected more of Shannon to be honest as he's one of my current favorite working actors. Maybe it was just the presence of Crowe but this kinda felt like a poor man's Ridley Scott's version of a Superman movie. The flashbacks worked well to keep me engaged during the first half but once it became a boxing match between Superman and Zod I kinda checked out. 

post #44 of 4665

Just got back from the midnight showing.. I'm tired so bare with me.. But I thoroughly enjoyed it..  It had a few cringe-worthy lines, and it's attempts at humor seemed much more forced than needed... But daaaaamn was the action handled impressively... The coverage during the action, like the camera angles and viewpoints (switching from a wide shot, to a first-person view from Supes POV, then to a pilot's POV, then to a bystander's POV, etc) I found most impressive.  The action had fluidity and a real sense of power, and that's pretty much my main reason for showing up(I've never been a big Superman fan, so I'm biased).  

 

As to all the collateral damage.. come on.. it's a Superman movie where he punches shit... Did he punch any babies or fry any innocent bystanders with his ray vision?  Those buildings were evacuated, people!!...  I saw him carry enough falling shit in SUPERMAN RETURNS... The chud review really sold me on all the destruction and chaos in the battles and that's what I was looking forward to the most.  

 

I remember a time on this site years ago where people would bitch and moan at the "HE'S OKAY, FOLKS!!" shots when a fighter pilot pulled his emergency parachute just in the nick of time, or the cops would scramble out of their overturned cop cars, bleeding and bruised, but still alive..  just to get that sigh of relief from the few sensitive people in the audience who were really concerned for the safety of Helicopter Pilot #13.

 

Not trying to sound like an ass, but that part really didn't bother me at all.  

post #45 of 4665

It didn't resonate the way I wanted to and I'm not the biggest fan of the way it was cut together. But the whole spiel about collateral damage? Way, way overblown. The dude was so busy getting his ass kicked back and forth that there was simply no time to avoid it. I really don't get the complaint at all. Nor do I get the complaint about the action being tedious, as I found it well-balanced.

 

That said, I'll watch this over Iron Man 3 any day of the week.

post #46 of 4665

I wonder if the tentacles on the southern hemisphere's World Engine were Jon Peters doing. 

post #47 of 4665

I saw the midnight show and came away feeling pretty positive about it. No serious complaints, though i wonder how much of that is because of the last couple Superman movies that came out. 

post #48 of 4665
The first 10 minutes are the closest we'll ever get to a "Sectaurs" movie.
post #49 of 4665

Just saw the midnight showing with a tepid audience. I thought it was great. There weren't enough jokes, it could get fairly cheesy, and none of the dialogue POPPED the way you want it to, but whatever, man, the plot thoroughly made sense, the stakes were huge (I was shocked at how intense it is; hundreds of thousands of people die in this movie), the action was amazing (easily the best superpowered, comic-book style, mano-a-mano brawling fight scenes I've ever seen), and the score smoothed over any rough edits. And every cent is shown on screen; it makes THE AVENGERS look cheap. 

 

Is IRON MAN 3 a better MOVIE? Maybe. But for a SUPER HERO movie, I'd rather watch this any day of the week. 

post #50 of 4665

I loved it. My review -

 

Ever since I was a young boy I have always maintained that Richard Donner’s 1978 film, Superman : The Movie, is not only the best Superman film, but THE definitive superhero film. Many have tried to knock it from the top spot over the years and have failed. Donner’s film, for me, has remained THE standout comic book adaptation and Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of the man of steel has never been equaled.

 

Until now. Because Man of Steel is a triumph.

 

Early signs were not good. I was encouraged by the news that Batman director, Christopher Nolan, and writer David S. Goyer would be collaborating on the story and that Nolan would also be producing. But I was less confident in the decision to hand the reins to Zack Snyder. He had shown himself to be a very competent filmmaker (Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen) but I had written him off as a style-over-substance director. But as I started to see some production stills my optimism began to grow. But then alarm bells started ringing when the film’s release was pushed back from December 2012 to June 2013. This is usually not a good sign. But we need not have worried. And I don’t mind admitting that I was wrong about Snyder. He has delivered not only a great Superman movie, but a cracking movie full stop.

 

We all know the basic Superman story by now and Man of Steel retells it faithfully, but with a few twists and variations which I won’t give away here. This is another superhero origin story, yes. But it doesn’t feel like it due to Snyder’s clever use of non-linear storytelling techniques and well-timed flashbacks.

 

I was one of the few who actually liked Bryan Singer’s 2006 effort, Superman Returns. But Singer (by his own admission) was such a huge fan of the original films that he couldn’t seem to find his own vision. He used John William’s iconic fanfare. He used a digitally-manipulated Marlon Brando as Jor-El. And he even cast an actor (Brandon Routh) who not only looked just like Christopher Reeve but sounded like him too. Man of Steel manages to break free of the shackles of the past and Snyder is very much free to do his own thing. And it’s abundantly clear from our first glimpse of the planet Krypton that Snyder’s interpretation is worlds away from Donner’s (and Singer’s) film.

 

The visuals are simply stunning. Krypton is like nothing I have ever seen on screen before and the opening 20 minutes alone contain more eye-popping shots than most movies do in their entire running time. Snyder’s distinct visual style permeates every frame of the film and whether we’re at the Kent homestead in Smallville or in the bustling city street of Metropolis, the film retains a realistic, naturalistic feel. Weta Digital have truly outdone themselves and the effects are top-notch. Live action elements and CGI are blended seamlessly and you completely believe what you’re seeing unfolding before your eyes, no matter how far-fetched. The fight scenes between Superman and the various villains are breathtaking and the action is very clearly staged and is never confusing.

 

There are some very nice character moments too. We get to see an adolescent Clark struggling with his heightened senses and learning to focus his mind. In fact, almost all of the characters are believable, three-dimensional people with clear motivations and goals – no matter which side they’re on. The film is beautifully paced and never feels like it’s in a rush and this allows moments between the characters to breathe. Snyder manages to satisfactorily both deliver spectacular action and an emotional punch, which is not an easy thing to do.

 

The cast is impeccable. Russell Crowe does a very solid job as Jor-El, Superman’s biological father. And Kevin Costner and Diane Lane are pitch-perfect as Clark Kent’s earth parents, Jonathan and Martha Kent. Laurence Fishburne is good as the Daily Planet chief Perry White, although he’s not given a great deal to do. Amy Adams is great too as the spunky Lois Lane. And Michael Shannon’s General Zod is one of the most-menacing, fierce and terrifying screen villains we have seen in a very long time.

 

But this film belongs to Cavill. He is Kal-El. He is Clark Kent. And he IS Superman. Cavill demands your attention every time he is on screen. I had no knowledge of his work before he was cast in this role and as a result he brings no baggage with him. He slides effortlessly into the role of the titular hero and it’s hard to think of another actor alive today who could play the part better than he does here. On a side note – isn’t it strange that Batman, Spider-Man and now Superman are all currently being played by English actors?

 

I also have to mention the score by Hans Zimmer. Instead of trying to beat John Williams at his own game, Zimmer has gone for something entirely different which works wonderfully. Trust me, you’ll be humming the main theme long after you have left the theatre.

 

There are a few very minor quibbles. The movie is a tad too long and some of the action sequences become a little monotonous towards the end. But given the fact that the film has so much story to tell it does so with great efficiency and not a second of screen time is wasted. Plus, it’s not exactly a barrel of laughs. It does take itself quite seriously at times but manages to pull it off without being overly solemn.

 

It will be very interesting to see where they take it from here. A sequel has already been announced and I’m looking forward to another installment with Cavill in the red cape.

 

Welcome back, Superman.

 

Oh, and Disney, if you’re listening…give Snyder a shot at Star Wars.

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